Monday, April 6, 2015

3 Brass Birds

3 birds now adorn the dining room display cabinet:


It's the 18th century, the age of Casanova. Candles are lit and gondolas glide along the canals of Venice, ferrying passengers in dominos and masks, like souls crossing the river Styx... "I love Venetian carnival masks, and as some of them look bird-like," says sculptist and bestselling author KJ Bishop. "I thought it would be fun to dress some small birds in them"

(from top)
  • The Bauta Bird - The bauta bird is mysterious, even sinister, an adventurer and seducer -- a phantom whose only home is the night. Size: 6.5 x 10 x 9 cm / 2.5 x 4 x 3.5" 
  • The Pulcinella Bird - The character of Pulcinella comes from the Italian Commedia dell'Arte, where he was a roguish, violent, disrespectful servant -- an anti-authority figure and a trickster. The Pulcinella bird might be nicer, but he's still mischievous, and no doubt he has a few tricks under his hat. Size: 11 cm / 4.25" 
  • The Doctor Bird - The plague doctor carnival mask is based on costumes worn by doctors who treated victims of the bubonic plague. The long beak was filled with aromatic substances such as herbs, dried flowers and camphor to ward off the evil smells that were thought to carry sickness. A doctor dressed in this way must have been a rather frightening apparition to see at one's bedside, but I like to think the doctor bird is a cuter character. Size: 6 x 10.5 x 7 cm / 2.25 x 4 x 2.75"

Material: Brass Open edition, signed with initials on base. Both the colour of the antique brown patina and the amount of highlighting can vary in these birds. The patina has a green-white element that may hardly appear at all, or may show up as small streaks or splashes in the brown.